The world’s favorite two-seater is now more bespoke

THE EVER-CHARISMATIC MX-5 — often fondly referred to as the Mazda Miata by many — is quite a magical car. Historically, it revived the world’s passion for roadsters at a time when its kind was dying out. That is, thanks to the brilliant, Japanese-born Tom Matano aka “Father of the Miata,” who had the ingenious concept of creating an affordable, open-top roadster that brought people joy because of how fun it was to own and drive.

In 2000, the Mazda MX-5 became the world’s best-selling two-seater sports car. Unsurprisingly, some, 853 units have been sold in the Philippines since 2014 — making our homeland the country with the largest population of MX-5s in Asia outside of Japan.

And it is for this very reason — being part of a population that fiercely loves open-top sports cars, despite the economic situation our country may find itself in — that Mazda headquarters agreed for the Philippines to be the first country in the world to announce the small car company’s newest program for the MX-5’s 2021 model: Mazda’s Premium Automotive Experience.

Under this new program, customers will be offered the pleasure to “build” their own MX-5. What this means is that MX-5 owners-to-be will now have the freedom to choose from 78 combinations of car options — to better cater to their personality. Previously, there were more limited specifications for the roadster locally available, depending on whether you would go for the manual or automatic variant. Anecdotally, there have been customers who wished they could avail of a manual MX-5, but rather in combination with a higher-spec interior that would include say, Nappa leather. And well, now you actually can!

Mazda Philippines also announced the introduction of its newest, premium body color to the local market: Deep Crystal Blue Mica, which is set to replace its previous shade of blue. Therefore, customers can now avail of a premium-grade, soft-top manual MX-5 that comes with black leather or Nappa leather, together with a dark-cherry-colored soft top, if he wanted to. The RF models can now also be ordered to come with either a body-colored top or a black-colored top. Of course, all MX-5 units still come with the previously available safety assist technologies such as Lane Departure Warning and Smart Brake City Support.

The Build Your Personal MX-5 Program already begins this November, applicable to the 2021 MX-5. Obviously, pre-ordering the car set to your specs (within the allowed options to choose from) will be necessary, with a waiting time of around four to six months from order to delivery. All MX-5 units are completely built in Hiroshima, Japan, and will require some time and love to produce the cars meeting the customers’ specified transmission, exterior color, interior trim, soft top or retractable fastback (RF), and color of top.

The 2021 MX-5 units offer premium-grade, six-speed manual transmission, soft-top variants as among the new choices. This will include red Nappa or premium black leather interiors, a nine-speaker Bose sound system, Bilstein dampers, and front strut bars.

“Good design lasts forever!” pointed out Mazda Philippines President and CEO Steven Tan, further highlighting that Mazda is known for its beautifully designed, meticulously engineered cars that ooze with premium quality.

He also explained that by giving customers the opportunity to personally design and customize their very own MX-5 cars with Mazda’s interactive, online and showroom ordering guide, their clients “will surely feel an even deeper and longer-lasting bond with their cars. This is a privilege previously found only in luxury sports car brands. And now, we make it available to Mazda clients who wish to create an even more personal MX-5 to suit their personality.”

Ordering a personalized MX-5 soft top will cost anywhere from P1.98 million to P2.26 million, while a personalized RF may cost from P2.29 million to P2.39 million.

Emotional cars were never really a commodity — as can be seen in the Mazda MX-5’s sales figures, which remain robust amid the ongoing economic challenges of the pandemic.